← Back

3 Ways to Improve Clinical Trial Efficiency

Clinical trials introduce innovation in medicine. However, they can be very inefficient. There are multiple factors that slow progress and increase costs. Here are three ways to improve the efficiency of a clinical trial.

Use a Decentralized or Hybrid Approach

Up until the last decade, clinical trials were always conducted in person. Anyone that wanted to participate had to travel to a research site for every test and procedure. That could be across the country or their local doctor’s office. Having to meet in person at a clinical trial site for every study activity makes traditional clinical trials slower, less efficient, and often more expensive than hybrid and fully decentralized trials.

Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) take place virtually and are conducted using remote monitoring devices, apps, mobile devices, or online social engagement tools. Decentralization removes some barriers to participation by enabling participants to connect with their physicians and care team through telemedicine, allowing them to get tests done at labs near where they live, and having nurses visit participants at their homes. In hybrid clinical trials, some of the study activities are conducted remotely while others take place in person at traditional clinical study sites. Hybrid trials allow patients to take part in some activities from their homes, while also interacting with study staff in person.

Design the Trial with Automation in Mind

Setting up an automated process can significantly decrease study time, both on the initial design and throughout trial execution. Automated processes decrease human error, lessen process time and capture aligned data more efficiently and accurately. To make sure these actually function in a complex digital landscape, it’s important to work out data flows with your DCT provider early in the process. The more data flows through centralized providers, the more automation can accelerate workflows.

Eliminate Source Data Verification (SDV)

Source data verification (SDV) is the process by which data in the case report forms (CRF or eCRF) are compared to the source of information to ensure accuracy. It adds significant labor cost as well as costs resulting from errors made during the data transcription process. Costs related to SDV account for approximately 25% of clinical trial budgets. DCT approaches allow data to be entered directly from the source: participants, caregivers, clinicians, etc. This eliminates the need for SDV, resulting in significant cost savings.

These three things can help significantly improve the efficiency of clinical trials by saving time and money.

Learn more about how THREAD is dedicated to making DCT clinical trials more efficient, more flexible and more inclusive.